Is the Mid-State League (MSL) at a breaking point?

Raider6309

Well-known member
I’m always surprised Logan never joined the MSL. They have been talking about a new league since the 80’s. Logan has to have the dumbest administration in the state
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
I’m always surprised Logan never joined the MSL. They have been talking about a new league since the 80’s. Logan has to have the dumbest administration in the state
Would probably be a good fit in the Buckeye division now. Not so much during the Amyx years, though. :D

The biggest downside I see is the longer drive. Right now Hamilton Twp's longest road trip is 35 miles to Fairfield Union. Logan would be a 50-mile trip for us. For Teays Valley, a similar increase.

This year HT is playing its final non-conf game on the banks of the Hocking in week 10 - our first time there, so we'll see how the road trip goes.

FootballDNA's what-if's are interesting, and I certainly agree with bringing Whitehall to the Buckeye division - but man oh man, that trip to Buckeye Valley while fighting Friday rush-hour traffic going thru Columbus ...... :eek:

BTW, keep your eye on Whitehall over the next 5 years. That community is enjoying quite a resurgence and renaissance. New homes going up, business districts being revitalized, along with new high school building a couple of years ago and artificial turf being installed this summer. Families will be looking hard at having their kids attend there, might have a substantial increase in student body after a few seasons.
 

FootballDNA

New member
Yeah I agree that Buckeye Valley was not a great addition especially if you are saying that Logan is not a good candidate. What Logan has going for it is the school is right off the highway, where Fairfield Union you have to fight two lane roads, stop signs, traffic etc. I bet even though it might be 10-15 minutes longer it's easy on and easy out. Plus Logan has great facilities.

I guess my point was it can't be too hard to sit down and come up with a plan. Even if the plan is to play teams by closest location, come up with some proposals and allow the schools to vote on them.

From the previous post I don't know if any schools are leaving for sure, but based on posts in this thread the rumors are Rosecrans (which is another long drive) looking east and rumors tying Liberty Union and Fisher Catholic to the LCL as the LCL looks to expand. If the LCL continues to expand out of the county I would expect and league name change.
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
Yeah I agree that Buckeye Valley was not a great addition especially if you are saying that Logan is not a good candidate.
I think you looked at my post wrong? I'm saying Logan WOULD be a good fit for the MSL Buckeye, competition-wise. We'll survive the longer drive, but it will definitely be one of things considered.

That would NOT have been the case 12 years ago. Their only real competition then would have been Canal Winchester, and Logan would still have beaten them just about every year, IMO.

Oh well - let's see what shakes loose from all this. Friday night under the lights will still be a wonderful thing.
 

Dutch1257

New member
As I've said on a previous thread, I would love to see the LCL "poach" some of the MSL teams and become a premier central ohio conference. Something along the lines of these divisions would be great in my opinion:

METRO
Whitehall
Newark
Zanesville
Licking Heights
Watkins Memorial
Granville

CAPITAL
Licking Valley
Johnstown
Bexley
Grandview Heights
Lakewood
Liberty Union

OHIO
Newark Catholic
Fisher Catholic
Northridge
Utica
Heath
Berne Union

A couple crossover games (not mandatory) and I think you have some competetive, stable conferences for the future.
I dont believe Newark will come aboard for LCL expansion, but the LCL could become a Premier Central Ohio League especially with all the potential problems the MSL will probably have and its member schools could have an outlet to be in a secure league that values old traditions.

To form a new league with a new name "BIG MID OHIO CONFERENCE" The BMOC could add 12 of the MSL schools, then merge them with the 11 LCL schools along with Centerburg or Worthington Christian (126). Here is how it could look with boys enrollment numbers:

BIG MID OHIO CONFERENCE BMOC

BUCKEYE LEAGUE
530 Watkins Memorial
493 Licking Heights
453 Teays Valley
387 Whitehall
344 Hamilton Township
344 Zanesville
342 Granville
271 Bexley

SCARLET LEAGUE
256 Bloom Carroll
249 Licking Valley
228 Lakewood
227 Fairfield Union
216 Heath
203 Johnstown
188 Amanda Clearcreek
159 Columbus Academy

CARDINAL LEAGUE
200 Utica
161 Liberty Union
150 Northridge
140 Centerburg
123 Grandview Heights
095 Berne Union
087 Newark Catholic
057 Fisher Catholic

If MSL schools would like a format set-up like this: then contact LCL Commissioner Ron Bowman!

Circleville & Logan Elm to the Frontier
GCC & HP & WC to a new league
Ready back to CCL
Buckeye Valley back to MOAC
Fairfield Christian & Millersport to MOCAC
Wellington & Rosecrans to new leagues
 
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mslfan20

New member
I dont believe Newark will come aboard for LCL expansion, but the LCL could become a Premier Central Ohio League especially with all the potential problems the MSL will probably have and its member schools could have an outlet to be in a secure league that values tradition.

We'll take the LCL Fan's divisional set up for a new LCL from some of the MSL schools, along with 2 schools of Mount Vernon or possibly Newark, and Centerburg with boys enrollment numbers:

LICKING CENTRAL LEAGUE. LCL

METRO
530 Watkins Memorial
493 Licking Heights
475 Mount Vernon
387 Whitehall
344 Hamilton Twp.
344 Zanesville
342 Granville
271 Bexley

CAPITAL
256 Bloom Carroll
249 Licking Valley
228 Lakewood
227 Fairfield Union
216 Heath
203 Johnstown
188 Amanda Clearcreek
159 Columbus Academy

OHIO
200 Utica
161 Liberty Union
150 Northridge
140 Centerburg
123 Grandview Heights
95 Berne Union
87 Newark Catholic
57 Fisher Catholic

Teays Valley to the OCC
Circleville & Logan Elm to the Frontier
GCC & HP & WC to a new league
Ready back to CCL
Buckeye Valley back to MOAC
Fairfield Christian & Millersport to MOCAC
Rosecrans to new league
I can see Ready GCC HP and WC doing a new league with KIPP and Christo Rey
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Reading through the posts from last year in both the context of "then" versus "now"...

My best guess is conference movement will be on the backburner for at least another year, maybe longer. There would appear to be one of two factors that would cause some schools to shuffle around or out of the MSL: if Teays Valley were to leave the Buckeye, or if the Cardinal begins to shed a school or two. If the Cardinal simply loses another football program to 8-man, then that could be what finally gets Grandview football out of the Ohio. Ideally, the Cardinal Division in football should be GH, Worthington Christian, Berne Union, FC, FCA, GCC and Miller. Or... the MSL creates a fourth flight specifically for 8-man football with Rosecrans, Miller, possibly Millersport (although that appears greatly unlikely), GCC and FCA if they want to hybridize a schedule between 8-man and 11-man competition with the door open for FC and Berne to drop down for a year or two if the numbers aren't great. Then there could be a retooling of the third football division (current Cardinal) for Grandview, WC, Liberty Union, Berne, FC and any possible combination of current-MSL Fairfield Union or external schools such as Newark Catholic, Northridge, Utica or Lakewood. Columbus Academy, Ready and Harvest Prep may or may not be a possible candidates for it.

In the current context of today, with great uncertainty as to what the COVID-19 pandemic means for fall sports and even greater concern about the almost-certain economic implications of the state/nation's response to the pandemic and what it means for the entire bottom half of the MSL enrollment-wise, it is just really tough to see any mass-movement or reshuffling of the decks. The only three schools that would appear to possibly peel away from the MSL are Buckeye Valley, Grove City Christian and Rosecrans. All three of these schools are on the geographic extremes of their respective divisions. BV might actually be very content with the MSL, if the motivation is to get their football program remotely successful (plus the basketball competition is great.) GCC will probably figure out for themselves if traveling to Rosecrans and Miller becomes an issue. Who knows what Rosecrans is going to be looking like in the future... I think that school definitely wants to stay in the MSL, just hard to tell if they may stand to lose more families to the MVL schools in the coming years.

edit: I know the Circleville + Logan Elm to the Frontier Athletic Conference rumor has been floating around.
 
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The Dock

Well-known member
I dont believe Newark will come aboard for LCL expansion, but the LCL could become a Premier Central Ohio League especially with all the potential problems the MSL will probably have and its member schools could have an outlet to be in a secure league that values tradition
I'm gonna break your balls, here. The MSL wasn't the league that went on a 20 year hiatus! LOL And I don't think the MSL is a league that, by contrast, doesn't value tradition. It's just a different league in many ways than it was 20-25 years ago.

The resurrection of the Licking County League undoubtedly affected the Mid-State League. Watkins leaving the OCC to join the LCL = Canal Winchester leaving the MSL to join the OCC; five MSL-Ohio schools leaving to join the LCL = the MSL moving Grandview Heights and West Jefferson, adding Worthington Christian (great add) as well as London and Madison Plains (bad adds!) If not for the LCL, then there probably would not be an MSL-Cardinal today: Licking Heights was really starting to become bad for half of the Cardinal schools in the last couple years' of LH's membership, and something was going to happen had LH not left.
 

bballfan48

New member
I don't see GCC leaving the MSL any time soon. Any other league would be a step backwards for them. Their enrollment is on the rise.

I don't understand adding Miller to the Cardinal. I have talked to coaches from a few schools and all of them are not looking forward to that drive.

Harvest Prep needs to move up to the Ohio for basketball. Sometimes you need to look at other things besides enrollment. I can see Grandview coming down to the Cardinal in all sports soon. I have watched their middle school basketball teams the last three years, big drop off coming.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
I don't see GCC leaving the MSL any time soon. Any other league would be a step backwards for them. Their enrollment is on the rise.

I don't understand adding Miller to the Cardinal. I have talked to coaches from a few schools and all of them are not looking forward to that drive.

Harvest Prep needs to move up to the Ohio for basketball. Sometimes you need to look at other things besides enrollment. I can see Grandview coming down to the Cardinal in all sports soon. I have watched their middle school basketball teams the last three years, big drop off coming.
Miller became very interested in the MSL-Cardinal a couple years ago. By coming to the MSL, their travel times are cut down significantly. They were added in large part because they have a football program and, not unlike a couple of the Cardinal schools, are seriously vested in making their football work long-term. They bring fans, too. I'm curious what the AD's of these schools you allude to thought about adding Miller; did they vote them in?

I talked with one Cardinal AD not long after Miller was added, and he believed it was a great move for the league.

I also don't think Miller is that bad of a drive. And yeah, move HP to the Ohio. For all sports.
 

bballfan48

New member
How far is Miller from Zanesville? Will Rosecrans be the closest or will Berne?

GCC said it took them over 1 1/2 hours to get there. It wont be much less for HP.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
How far is Miller from Zanesville? Will Rosecrans be the closest or will Berne?

GCC said it took them over 1 1/2 hours to get there. It wont be much less for HP.
Miller is 50 minutes from Rosecrans, 60 miles roundtrip. Berne is closer by 10 minutes and ~20 miles roundtrip.

Well, I'm sure the GCC AD heard of MapQuest when it came to the vote to admit or not admit Miller. I'm sincerely curious what their position was on the matter.

From my house in Pickerington, it's an hour to Miller. From FC it's 35 min.

Was there any other school that possibly made sense for expansion? Would the Cardinal have been better off if Wellington didn't ask to move to the Ohio?
 

bballfan48

New member
I am guessing in two years it will moved around again based on Football and who goes to 8 man.

I have heard rumors that Westfall wants in the Mid-State. They would cut drives down significantly.

With the way Teays Valley is growing, they might need to find an OCC spot soon.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
I am guessing in two years it will moved around again based on Football and who goes to 8 man.

I have heard rumors that Westfall wants in the Mid-State. They would cut drives down significantly.

With the way Teays Valley is growing, they might need to find an OCC spot soon.
That's what I'm thinking is most likely to happen. There's still the always-possible opportunity that Circleville and Logan Elm go south to the Frontier and play amongst their SE district peers. And if Teays were to go to the OCC, then you could have as many as 2-3 spots open in the Buckeye if these hypothetical moves were to happen. Who would make good fits? I can think of one pair of schools that check several boxes, but would be somewhat of a stretch.

Westfall is a charter member of the SVC. I don't know if they would leave the SVC. Although I've done the Westfall to Adena drive before, and I can only imagine how much mileage they're covering with the trips to Piketon and Southeastern. Pro's and con's to going to the MSL? And then, what part of the MSL? I'm assuming the Buckeye. Westfall fits like a glove for LE and Circleville, somewhat Teays. The rest of the Buckeye, not so much.
 

RollingTrain

Well-known member
I'll forever question the Buckeye Valley addition - it makes no sense for anyone involved other than schedule filler. And the problem for BV now is that their spot in the MOAC was just filled and I don't see anymore movement unless they decide to add additional teams, which is to me is a real long shot (unless Lexington and Madison give up on the OCC and the MOAC would go North/South divisions).

To me Teays is going to probably have to do something at some point. I know they were contacted a while back to explore joining a league with DeSales/Watterson/Hartley and some others. I don't know where that was left, I don't think TV was very interested. I don't see an open spot in the OCC unless someone bolts for an expanded LCL, which I also see as maybe a long shot.

Its somewhat of a miracle the MSL has stayed together as well as they have. It's getting awkward though.
 
Westfall is a charter member of the SVC. I don't know if they would leave the SVC. Although I've done the Westfall to Adena drive before, and I can only imagine how much mileage they're covering with the trips to Piketon and Southeastern. Pro's and con's to going to the MSL? And then, what part of the MSL? I'm assuming the Buckeye. Westfall fits like a glove for LE and Circleville, somewhat Teays. The rest of the Buckeye, not so much.
Actually speaking as an A-C alum Westfall would be great and a move I have supported for many years. They already play each other in basically every sport but football and have for decades. It's an easy half hour drive also.
Many in the AC district rate the rivalries with LE/Circleville as highly or higher than with the Fairfield county schools. Sometimes people get too hung up on county line divisors. I could see Pickaway county from my childhood driveway. You can see Logan Elm H.S. from the last stop on the bus I rode for years. These schools are both geographically closer to AC than any of the three "county schools" in the Buckeye.

I have long been in favor (if Teays Valley ever leaves) of trying to add Westfall AND Zane Trace (both 30 minutes from ACHS) if there was interest from their ends, and letting Liberty Union (also 30 minutes from AC) go fully to another division.
Now whether the other Buckeye schools would like that is another story.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Actually speaking as an A-C alum Westfall would be great and a move I have supported for many years. They already play each other in basically every sport but football and have for decades. It's an easy half hour drive also.
Many in the AC district rate the rivalries with LE/Circleville as highly or higher than with the Fairfield county schools. Sometimes people get too hung up on county line divisors. I could see Pickaway county from my childhood driveway. You can see Logan Elm H.S. from the last stop on the bus I rode for years. These schools are both geographically closer to AC than any of the three "county schools" in the Buckeye.

I have long been in favor (if Teays Valley ever leaves) of trying to add Westfall AND Zane Trace (both 30 minutes from ACHS) if there was interest from their ends, and letting Liberty Union (also 30 minutes from AC) go fully to another division.
Now whether the other Buckeye schools would like that is another story.
An AC poster, eh? Haven't come across one since the JJHuddle days. Welcome.

I can see AC v LE/CV as being thought of as more intense and more relevant than anything against FU, LU and possibly Bloom. Indeed, decent portion of the AC district is along the US 22 and SR 159 corridors that flow into CV and LE districts. I would imagine the Amanda community's ties to the other Fairfield County schools beyond the MSL context are strong in FFA/county fair time, and probably less relevant as being "exurb" villages of the booming Lancaster metropolis /grin. I wonder if the Amanda folks miss Canal Winchester, or at least the Canal of the late 90's/early 00's.

Westfall and ZT is intriguing. Not sure how well it would go with FU and BC, but that might be beside the point. BC is ballooning in enrollment. BC and FU are joined to the hip, so I'm sure an AC/CV/LE/WF/ZT + ???? could work as well as FU/BC/???? either in the same MSL flight or another one in the MSL.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Which is the better candidate to move to the Cardinal? Grandview Heights or Liberty Union?
Ask each of the 7-8 schools and you'd get 7-8 different answers. There are at least three schools I'm sure of that would prefer LU.

Both school, or at least their communities, have expressed some degree of interest of slotting over to the Cardinal since the original wave of realignment in 2014. I think LU's interest has faded in the last year or two after the MSL provided them an "out" for their football program by assigning them to the Ohio. That was probably their primary motivation in the first place to go to the Cardinal. After a very strong first two years in the Buckeye, it was not looking good for LU football and there were a couple "issues" that were going to rear an ugly head if they still competed in the Buckeye for football. Today, my guess would be the LU community and athletic department are content with the Buckeye. The competition isn't too overwhelming for them, the travel time is pretty hard to beat and the gate receipts are probably quite lucrative.

GH has appeared to be the more eager of the two to move over. But what gets me is Grandview would probably be walking away from something pretty good for a good chunk of their athletic department, just to come to the Cardinal? You can't beat the soccer, golf, tennis and basketball competition to be had against Bexley, Academy, Wellington and Worthington Christian. Or the travel.

If we were discussing preferences... couldn't go wrong with either of them. Both of them were in our part of the MSL when I was in school, and we got to play both in hoops this past season. Box score aside, they were both experiences that were fun and brought back some great memories. Had a huge crowd between both our schools at LU on a weeknight, man they redid the gym floor and realigned the seating! And district final at ODU vs GH was fun, even though Luke Lachey wasn't. Lots of respect toward both schools, either one (or both) would add some serious bite to the Cardinal and that may be just what the doctor ordered.
 

bballfan48

New member
I would love to see Westfall and Zane Trace in the Mid-State league. That would make for some great Pickaway County games. ZT/LE already play each other in most sports.

LU
CV
BC
FU
AC
WF
ZT

Grandview is probably the better choice for the Cardinal. They would match up better in the three main sports. They would probably dominate the smaller sports though.
 

bsee54321

Active member
I doubt you will get ZT out of the Scioto Valley Conference. The only travel issue for ZT currently is to Piketon- its probably 45 minutes to 1 hour. ZT has good rivals with all the SVC schools. Playing Circleville, LE and Amanda is most all sports is just a good revenue and rival that does not affect its current league status. Westfall probably would be more apt to think about moving to MSL as long its stays in the Buckeye Division. But, there is always a chance that MSL could do a reliagnment of some type and if Westfall is moved from the Buckeye then the MSL move would backfire. I doubt either ZT of WF would leave the Scioto Valley Conference but Westfall probably would be willing to listen more than Zane Trace.
 

ghsknightsfan

Well-known member
i think we could see some realignment in South-Central Ohio very soon. the SVC is stable but that doesn’t mean members won’t be looking. the FAC will probably expand as well. some of the geography within these conferences could be better.
 

ghsknightsfan

Well-known member
new Frontier Athletic Conference:

Miami Trace
Washington Courthouse
Teays Valley
Circleville
Logan Elm
Chillicothe
Waverly
Jackson

Westfall to the MSL

Greenfield McClain to the SVC

Hillsboro to the SBAAC
 

The Dock

Well-known member
I would love to see Westfall and Zane Trace in the Mid-State league. That would make for some great Pickaway County games. ZT/LE already play each other in most sports.

LU
CV
BC
FU
AC
WF
ZT

Grandview is probably the better choice for the Cardinal. They would match up better in the three main sports. They would probably dominate the smaller sports though.
I don't think Grandview would necessarily "dominate the smaller sports".

These are the other sports the Cardinal sponsors...

Girls Basketball - Grandview would probably be top-half/.500
Volleyball - probably top-half/.500
Boys Soccer - would probably win every year (depends on what Rosecrans, GCC, or FC has for the season)
XC - I'm not sure, probably middle of the pack
Track and Field - would provide great competition. Half of the Cardinal doesn't even field T&F rosters that can fill out a full competition
Baseball - might be top-3
Softball - probably top-3
Golf - would probably dominate most years (which, I would love to see the Cardinal have a strong golf program.)

Girls soccer, tennis, swimming etc aren't sponsored by the Cardinal (the Cardinal schools who do field teams in those sports play either in the Ohio or Buckeye-sponsored competitions.)

Seeing either of GH or LU return to the Cardinal would be fine. Neither of the two schools have a program that is overwhelmingly strong, so any Cardinal school that frets at that thought of GH/LU crossing over because of a stronger overall athletic profile should... revaluate why they're in the MSL in the first place. Competition needs to be more than just Millersport and FCA
 

The Dock

Well-known member
new Frontier Athletic Conference:

Miami Trace
Washington Courthouse
Teays Valley
Circleville
Logan Elm
Chillicothe
Waverly
Jackson

Westfall to the MSL

Greenfield McClain to the SVC

Hillsboro to the SBAAC
Hillsboro and McClain being in the FAC always seemed like the biggest stretch with Jackson on the other end of the conference. Jackson pairs naturally with Gallia Academy, an odd fit in the OVC.

Get Miami Trace, Court House, CV, Logan Elm, Chillicothe together and you have five teams. Logan wants to join any conference at this point.
 

ghsknightsfan

Well-known member
Hillsboro and McClain being in the FAC always seemed like the biggest stretch with Jackson on the other end of the conference. Jackson pairs naturally with Gallia Academy, an odd fit in the OVC.

Get Miami Trace, Court House, CV, Logan Elm, Chillicothe together and you have five teams. Logan wants to join any conference at this point.
Jackson pairs better with Gallia for sure but then who else could they join up with? I think they would be happy enough with the FAC I proposed, as every school is on the 23/35 corridor.

Logan is just an odd fit in this league, I can't see it happening. They share no major roads with FAC schools so longer drives automatically. Logan to the MSL is a possibility but still a stretch, a little too large. Wherever they should be, it should be with Athens.
 

The Dock

Well-known member
Jackson pairs better with Gallia for sure but then who else could they join up with? I think they would be happy enough with the FAC I proposed, as every school is on the 23/35 corridor.

Logan is just an odd fit in this league, I can't see it happening. They share no major roads with FAC schools so longer drives automatically. Logan to the MSL is a possibility but still a stretch, a little too large. Wherever they should be, it should be with Athens.
Logan has supposedly long lobbied to be in the MSL. I don’t think they’re wanted.
 
new Frontier Athletic Conference:

Miami Trace
Washington Courthouse
Teays Valley
Circleville
Logan Elm
Chillicothe
Waverly
Jackson

Westfall to the MSL

Greenfield McClain to the SVC

Hillsboro to the SBAAC
There would be less than zero chance Westfall would go to the MSL without being sure LE and Circleville were still in it. Other than TV and AC they rarely play the other MSL Buckeye schools. They already stopped playing Teays Valley in football a few years ago (size and competitive issues).

I have seen a lot of speculation about LE and CV to the FAC on another website and I will echo what I thought then. They would add longer travel times to bigger schools and move further away from the Columbus Metro area in the process. These schools aren't growing and in fact have shrunk a bit the past 25 years. These schools struggle to compete in a number of sports (football particularly) now. They would be going to a conference where they would struggle even more to beat the top teams (Jackson, Chillicothe, even Hillsboro). LE basketball is good, but already plays who they want from the FAC. Outside of the Fayette County schools, LE has little history with the FAC.

The one argument I have seen that may have some weight is district seeding being better due to being in a SE district conference. However, LE doesn't seem to suffer in boys bb (or FU for that matter), or CV in girls bb seeding by being in a primarily Central district league. In fact, one could argue that being outliers is an advantage (less familiarity with schools you might play in tournaments, seeding based on perceived difficulty of playing in more "difficult" districts (this often is also the case for the MVL schools like Sheridan who play in predominantly non-SE district leagues).

I have no insider information, but I will believe this FAC move when I see it and not before.

Oh and I agree, I doubt ZT would leave the SVC. Doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see it though 😉
 

Raider6309

Well-known member
Logan has supposedly long lobbied to be in the MSL. I don’t think they’re wanted.
That made sense awhile ago back when Logan was good. The problem was Logan was actually pretty good back then. Logan also seemed they wanted in the OCC with schools like Logan. Basically be in the MSL but under the OCC banner. Oh egos
 

ghsknightsfan

Well-known member
i think Westfall to the MSL could be a fit.. and Circleville and Logan Elm to the FAC makes sense too. i think:

Miami Trace
Washington Courthouse
Chillicothe
Circleville
Logan Elm
Teays Valley
Jackson
Waverly

would be very competitive!! travel is as good as you could ask for, being in Southeast Ohio.
 
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